With stress being the causative factor in so many degenerative health conditions, part of my philosophy on healing is to lower and manage stress through various techniques.
I talk to people about the benefits of regular exercise in stress reduction, we talk about resolving and working on the emotional aspects of stress, we can look at using herbs and supplements that support our body and help us adapt to stress – but one tool that I think is essential, is meditation.
Now when I say that to most people, they have a vision of having to sit cross legged on the floor, eyes closed, and “OM” for a half an hour while the mind races and reminds us of all the other things we could be doing. For most people this style of meditation doesn’t suit, and causes more stress that it relieves.
There are many people who do have the discipline and interest to study and learn these type of techniques, such as Transcendental Meditation, yet for many of us, we try, we get bored, and we’re not really that interested. We may practice that style of meditation for a while, and then we give up and move on.
Because the benefits of meditation are so numerous – physically, mentally and spiritually – it is important to include in out lives – but we need to find a style of meditation that suits us, and that doesn’t mean sitting cross legged on the floor.
All sorts of practices can move us into that meditative state, where our mind has switched off and we have a heightened but peaceful awareness and connection. Often that comes doing something we love that we are so focused on that we lose the racing mind and enter another state.
I realised that yesterday when I spend some time with some horses – my mind was still, I was immersed in what I was doing, and I was definitely in a meditative state for quite a while. When I had finished with the horses I felt rested, alert, energetic and very calm. That is the state that helps us be healthy, and the more often we can access that, the better for our stress levels.
So meditation doesn’t have to be a cliche. We can find that meditative space doing all sorts of things – surfing, horse-riding, gardening, walking in nature, yoga – often it will be found when you are doing something you love.
Being healthy doesn’t mean we have to do things that are difficult that we don’t enjoy just because we think they’re good for us. Happiness keeps us healthy, and if we are aware of what brings us to a peaceful, joyous space, then that is what we need to do.
I know I’ll be spending a lot more time with horses – what is that you will do?